lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Sep 9 10:01:20 MDT 2002
Monthly Review Press is pleased to announce the publication of
The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz
by Paul Buhle with Mike Alewitz
(ISBN: 1-58367-034-3, $27.95, pbk.).
From the Preface by Martin Sheen:
You won't find Mike Alewitz's art in the usual locations. His murals are in
places like South-Central Los Angeles, or on the radiated walls of
Chernobyl, or in the barrios of Nicaragua, Mexico City or Oxnard,
California. He paints in the bombed city of Baghdad.
Some of his creations are on the walls of union buildings, or in the
schools and libraries of working-class communities. Many of his murals are
not on walls at all, but are proudly carried on picket lines and
demonstrations by people engaged in vital struggles for decent working
conditions, an end to racist violence, or for the rights of immigrant
Mike's murals often contain images of well-known working-class leaders:
Martin Luther King, Emiliano Zapata, Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez and
Malcolm X. Others are not so well-known or have been lost to us - like
early labor leaders Lucy and Albert Parsons or Wesley Everest. Some are
martyrs of our own times like Ben Linder and Karen Silkwood. And all of
the paintings are peopled by unknown workers of all nationalities.
The murals tell the story of those who feed and clothe us - of those who
produce all the wealth of humanity...
Excerpts and images are available online at
Insurgent Images combines art, labor history, and political activism in a
full-color, beautifully illustrated, large-format, 160 page showcase of the
murals of Mike Alewitz. Insurgent Images contains text by Paul Buhle and a
foreword by the award-winning actor Martin Sheen.
The most prolific U.S. labor muralist since the 1940s, Mike Alewitz follows
the traditions of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, and David Siqueiros
as well as the early painters of the Russian Revolution. With a
demonstrated blend of artistic integrity and political commitment,
Insurgent Images combines grand historical themes with enlivening detail,
to illustrate the interplay between personality and event. Alewitz brings
to this tradition his own rich sense of irony, humor, and fantasy to
illuminate the hidden spaces where connections between the workforce of the
U.S. and its extended relatives across the planet are to be found.
Mike Alewitz is a renowned muralist and labor activist. He is available for
interviews and may be contacted at alewitzm at ccsu.edu. For three decades
Mike has been active in movements for peace and social justice. He teaches
mural painting at Central Connecticut State University and is the artistic
director of the Labor Art and Mural Project.
Paul Buhle teaches American Civilization at Brown University. His previous
books include Taking Care of Business: Samuel Gompers, George Meany, Lane
Kirkland, and the Tragedy of American Labor, Tender Comrades: A Backstory
of the Hollywood Blacklist, The Encyclopedia of the American Left, and
C.L.R. James's Caribbean.
Insurgent Images contains murals for the Teamsterstheir "Victory Mural"
after the United Parcel Service (UPS) Strike of 1998the Oil Chemical and
Atomic Workers, the Communications Workers, United Electrical Workers, the
United Farmworkers, as well as the Highlander Folk School and other labor
Other works respond to dramatic events such as the 1984 strike of P-9
workers in Austin, Minnesota, the 1991 rebellion in Los Angeles, and the
tragedy at Chernobyl. Altogether, this collection presents an inspiring
artistic reading of our epoch, sometimes poignant and yet full of promise.
Insurgent Images may be ordered online at http://www.monthlyreview.org/szw
or by calling 1-800-670-9499 or (212) 691-2555.
Monthly Review Press
122 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
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